For the first time, the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s flagship annual report on global energy pathways, used worldwide to influence trillions of dollars in investment, details an achievable roadmap to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C).
Today, Oil Change International and over 150 other civil society organisations from all over the world sent an open letter to International Energy Agency (IEA) director Dr. Fatih Birol, urging him to center 1.5 degrees Celsius (ºC) in the 2021 World Energy Outlook (WEO). The IEA is due to release the WEO in one month, on October 13, 2021.
The IEA has consistently boosted new oil and gas development. Now it’s backing up the global call to stop the expansion of fossil fuel extraction.
The IEA’s new 1.5°C-aligned scenario finds “no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply.” This represents a break from past IEA reports that boosted new oil and gas development by focusing on scenarios that steered the world towards catastrophic levels of warming. This is a big step in the right direction.
Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is both urgent and possible, but governments and investors alike need pathways that allow them to plan for success, not further entrench fossil fuels.
People all over the world are facing unprecedented crises from COVID-19. These tragic impacts will be the deepest in the world’s most vulnerable communities, regions and countries. IEA director Dr. Fatih Birol has urged governments worldwide to place clean energy at the heart of stimulus. Here Dr. Birol is right – but making this clean energy call count with real ambition is critical if the IEA wants to shake its reputation as a shill for the fossil fuel sector.
The IEA is embarking on a public relations effort that bears a striking resemblance to the spin coming from the oil and gas industry itself. This post takes a closer look at the IEA’s new spin, and why it’s a dangerous distraction from real solutions.